MathBoard, by palaware, is a stellar app for teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts, as well as, squares, cubes, and square roots. This app was designed specifically for classroom use. Students can practice their skills and teachers can use it to generate homework and quizzes for iPad use. On the first view, this app may remind you of "test prep". The multiple choice answer option is a tad reminiscent of what will soon be coming around the pike, as standardized testing awaits all public schools. However, after using this app, we've decided that all the wonderful features outweigh the initial appearance and the game itself is a sound educational tool! This app is set up exactly like an old green chalkboard, eraser on the ledge and all. There is something to be said about the simplicity. Once inside the settings you can change the multiple choice answer option to fill in the blank, the problem can be viewed either horizontally or vertically, quizzes can be saved, and wrong answers can be given to students to solve again. MathBoard also lets the user control the range of numbers to work with, a number of questions answered, gives easy access to workspace, displays the results of right and wrong answers in a running feed, and has a visible timer. By far the best feature is the problem solver. This extra takes you step by step and holds the child's hand as it shows how to solve the problem through a series of screens. It could also be used by the teacher on a SmartBoard to illustrate the necessary steps involved in a "how-to" for a group of students. MathBoard will make learning math rewarding as any child is able to watch their progress. Individual student profiles are a snap to set up and easy to access, and all quizzes can be emailed. Our only pet peeve: When using the keypad option, answers are given in a left to right direction. We always start in the tens place and work right to left.
What makes this app unique is that it is part of the Lanschool, which grants EdApp status to app developers that include certain features.
The purpose of the EdApp Certification is to provide teachers and professors the ability to monitor, manage and interact with students using iPads, iPods, and iPhones. This makes MathBoard the perfect accompaniment to any school implementing a pilot with mobile devices.
So, what did the kids think? Well, it doesn't take much to persuade a student to practice their math facts when you hand them an iPad. And like any drill, in small doses, it can be incredibly effective. The cross section of students we tried this app out with really liked it. So much so, they didn't want to stop "playing" to go to lunch! As a whole, they found it "really easy to use" and they all liked the chalkboard. One thought it was "really cool" that the chalkboard was retractable.... and another said, "With the chalkboard you don't waste all that paper!" We found it to be very useful for some of the higher level students, the settings are so diverse it can easily be set up to challenge more advanced students.
This is one staple all kids iPads should have, if you want to give it a trial first, MathBoard Addition is free!